Chelsea were overturned 1-0 by Arsenal in the Community Shield last weekend, but despite the loss, the game was not bereft of positivity from a Blues perspective.
Stamford Bridge legend Petr Cech ominously kept a clean sheet on his Gunners debut, while Jose Mourinho also saw his blemish-free record against the north London outfit obliterated, but defeat has done little to change widely held preconceptions the reigning champions remain the team to beat this season.
At 31/20, they’ve drifted a touch in light of their Wembley loss; here’s what they have to shout about following the final whistle:
They were missing the focal point of their attack.
Courtesy of hamstrings with the consistency of a warmed up drumstick lolly, Diego Costa was forced to miss the match.
Those who filled in for the stricken Spain international, most notably Radamel Falcao, were lacking in match fitness and this was a big contributor to their inability to breach Arsenal’s backline.
The Community Shield winner hasn’t had much luck going on to claim the Premier League title in recent years.
Manchester United, in 2010/11, are the only team this decade to claim both trophies in question.
Should this trend continue, the Gunners, who are widely recognised as Chelsea’s only other serious threat to claiming the top prize in English football alongside Manchester City, are out of the running to dethrone Jose Mourinho’s men.
Arsenal displayed a rarely seen level of defensive diligence.
Arsene Wenger’s men were resolute in preserving their goal advantage, allowing Chelsea a staggering 57% possession.
This completely uncharacteristic performance can’t be considered anything but an anomaly and it shouldn’t be used as a yardstick to predict behaviour for the coming season.